1951-1956: Langford United Church

Informal worship services of Langford United Church began in the Buffalo Community Hall in the Langford area of Victoria in December 1951. Fifteen people attended the first worship service. An Official Board was constituted in April 1952. Regular worship services were led by Rev. Henry Pring Davidson at the Belmont High School from 1952-1955. At that time Belmont School was comprised of a series of army huts. Rev. Davidson was 67 years of age and had just moved to Victoria from Qualicum Beach where had had built the St. Stephen’s United Church. The church grew and grew and it started using too much space at Belmont School and the School trustees suggested they start looking elsewhere for a place to hold church services.

Rev. Henry Davidson

Henry davidson

The Women’s Association (which later became the UCW) raised $750. to purchase a building lot on Goldstream Avenue for a permanent church structure. Gordon United Church is situated on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish People, under the Douglas Treaty of 1850 – 1852. A sod turning ceremony was held in December 1954 and construction began. Much of the work on the new church was done by volunteers.The Victoria Times reported that “members of the congregation had put approximately $8000 worth of free labor into the building of the sanctuary that was estimated to have a cost of $40,000. [1] During construction the new church received several gifts. One of these was the Pulpit donated to our church in 1954 by First United Church. A Mr. Watt (formerly owned London Silk Co.) had died and his wife donated a new big pulpit to First United as a Memorial to him. Gordon United received their smaller pulpit. Mr.& Mrs. W. G. McDonald of Gordon United were married in 1923 in front of this pulpit at First United – by Rev. Dr. Wilson. Our Communion Cups were donated by Belmont United Church.

The basement, known as the Fellowship Hall was the first section of the church to be completed and the first services were held there on October 30, 1955. Services continued to be held here until the church was completed in 1956.

May 1956-1958: Gordon United Church begins

In May 1956, the congregation voted to change their name to Gordon United Church, in honour of Rev. Davidson’s mentor, the Rev. C.W. Gordon (Ralph Connor). The sanctuary was dedicated on Thanksgiving Sunday October 7, 1956.

Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon

Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon, or Ralph Connor, (September 13, 1860 – October 31, 1937) was a Canadian novelist, using the Connor pen name while maintaining his status as a Church leader, first in the Presbyterian and later the United Churches in Canada. Gordon was also at one time a master at Upper Canada College. He wrote 30 books mostly about Glengarry Country where he was raised. He sold more than five million copies of his works in his lifetime,[2] and some of his works are still in print.

Rev. Henry Pring Davidson continued as pastor of the Gordon United Church until August 1958, when he retired at the age of 74. Membership grew to 150 families.

1958-July 1959
Rev. A.J. Atkins (Supply)

July 1959- August 1962
Rev. F. Dangerfield became the pastor. During this time the church tower was built, and chimes were installed. In 1960, a choir was organized. During the same year Dr. J. King Gordon, the son of Rev. Charles Gordon and a UN official visited the church. Membership now was 210 families.

Sept-June 1963

Padre H. Todd (supply)(Sept-Nov)
Rev. A.J. Atkins (supply) Nov 1962-June 1963

July 1963-June 1966
Rev. W.Z. Van Druten

Gordon United’s Lamppost

Our Lamppost – in 1965, a light standard from Liverpool, England was installed on the east side of Gordon United. It was donated by the Guiness Exporting Company of England. The firm obtained a number of these street lamps from Liverpool when the city discarded the old installations for modern lighting. This came to the attention of Rev. Van Druten, our minister at the time. In a letter to the firm, he described the lack of street lighting and the church grounds which would be enhanced by such an historical and useful lamp. Consequently, a Liverpool light and a plaque were shipped free of charge to Victoria. Scarred by the years, which included two wars, the standard was restored by Mr. Art Buxton. The cost of installation was covered by volunteers. A warm glow emanates from this “little bit of England” to brighten a corner of our world.

The church also purchased a manse, and the church property was landscaped.

July 1966-June 1970
Rev. Geoffrey G. Smith became the pastor. during this time the Christian Education Center was constructed, and the cornerstone was laid by charter member David Flatman in January 1968.


Our Historic Corner Stone

July 1970-June 1978
Rev. David Russell Stiven became the pastor and he and his wife purchased the manse from the church. During this time, Pilgrim United church is formed with 20 families and Rev Russell Stiven also acted as their pastor from Jan 1978-July 1979 when Pilgrim calls their own minister.

July 1978-Feb 1981
Rev. John Bell

Feb-June 1981
Rev. H.W, Kerley (supply)

July 1981-June 1993
Rev. Colleen Erb
During this time, the church celebrated its 25th Anniversary.

1 congregation photo Don Hatfield

 Congregation Photo 1993

July 1993-July 1994
Padre Don Hatfield (supply)

August 1994-Nov 1998
Rev. Ron Attwell
During this time the church celebrated its 40th anniversary and a video was made of the Gordon United Church history.

Dec 1998-June 1999
Rev. Lawrence Fetter (Supply)

July 1999-Dec 2005
Rev. Keven Fletcher
During this time Tim Olfert is hired as Musical director

Jan 2006-June 2007
Rev. Dr. Eugen Bannerman (Supply)
During this time the church celebrated its 50th anniversary.
There are 206 names in the church directory.

July 2007 – current
Heidi Koschzeck
During this time, the church began reaching out to the community and sponsoring free community dinners. We also launched a webpage and began “Messy Church.”
It also celebrated its 60th anniversary.

August 2012-Dec 2012
Rev. Dr. Eugen Bannerman (Supply)

July 2015-Oct 2015
Rev. Dr. Eugen Bannerman (Supply)

[1] Bannerman, Eugen. Fifty-five years ago. Gordon United Church, March 26, 2006 p. 3
[2] Richthammer, John. Ralph Connor/The Rev. Dr. Charles W. Gordon: The role of archives in the memorialization of a Canadian literary and theological giant. Miscellanea Manitobiana. No. 4. Retrieved from https://johnblythedobson.org/Manitobiana/issues/004.cfm